The UK has a flourishing VFX industry that is attracting business from all over the world. In terms of film production in this country, we’re securing huge business. The standard of work being produced here is world class, and it’s impressive to see how this industry is flourishing right across the United Kingdom. For those of us who work in London, sometimes we risk embracing the city as being the centre of the universe, paying far too much attention to what’s going on locally, rather than what’s happening countrywide. Granted Soho is a hub for post-production, but if we were to look beyond the M25 and further North, East or West, we would find an amazing number of talented companies working on some fantastic projects.
IKinema are a relatively young company based in the UK with a very special product that is improving the workflow among VFX departments. For anyone lucky enough to have worked with this programme they will know that the IKinema technology is a powerful plug-in and a real asset to any project working with motion capture and animation. It’s an incredible tool with advanced solver settings and a flexible constraint system. It's no wonder Framestore, one of the top VFX companies in Europe, are taking full advantage of this tool by integrating it into their motion capture pipeline.
A few weeks back we launched an internal competition at Escape Studios to get people’s creative juices flowing and find new budding literary talent. We invited people to write blog posts on anything they felt passionate about. It didn’t have to be CG related; it just had to be something which got under their skin enough to get them writing about it.
It seems there is an abundance of technology conferences to choose from this year. For fellow technology enthusiasts out there, this is an exciting time, as we are treated to an ocean of updates, new releases and ground breaking developments. One conference we give a particular seal of approval to is the much anticipated CVMP (Conference for Visual Media Production), now in its 8th year running. This is a conference dedicated to the geeks of the visual media production industries, whether that is in film, broadcast or games.
What exactly is Alembic? I know that some of you will have a fair idea, but I can guess that an awful lot of you simply won't have the first idea about what it does and why it should matter to you.
Since the introduction of HD to our television screens, we’re starting to see a huge push from a number of channels to deliver a broader range of quality viewing in HD, and the BBC are no exception. Their latest project Planet Dinosaur aired on BBC ONE from September 14th and is an exceptionally ambitious six part series, exhibiting the findings from dinosaur research over the past decade. Each episode is entirely computer generated, and it was one lone company based in London that produced this work completly in house. The company I’m referring to is Jellyfish Pictures, and we at Escape Studios were involved with kitting them out in preparation for this difficult project. Jellyfish now have a completely up to date system, and are in a great position to offer future clients the very latest software and hardware, putting them ahead of the rest for a couple of years.
On September 7th, 2011 we held a webinar for Autodesk’s 2012 version of the Entertainment Creative Suites. As ever, registrations for this Autodesk webinar were plentiful, and we're delighted so many of you were able to join us on the day.
Look at this lovely new shiny tablet. Well this beautiful iPad could be yours by simply filling out a quick survey. Not a rambling, multi-page behemoth, but a quick four question one. Two drop down questions and two check box's which take less than a minute to complete - if you don't believe me look at the screenshot below!
Autodesk have an awesome competition running at the moment, with great prizes for the winning and runner-up entries. They are calling out for submissions of a scene or design created on either 3ds Max 2012 or 3ds Max Design 2012. The winning entry will be featured on the 3ds Max Design 2012 box cover and splash screen. Entries will not be judged on production quality, but rather on imagination, innovation and an ingenious use of the Max logo. They are looking for inventive concepts or renderings of architectural designs as well as mechanical or industrial production design. So be adventurous.
MARI is a relatively new piece of software, and is becoming more popular with artists as its reputation for efficiency and adaptability becomes more widely known. As with any piece of new software there is a period of trial and error before you really get to know its full capability. It is in light of this that Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, is offering to share his top 23 tips when working with MARI.
On Tuesday the 30th of August Twitter streams of digital artists across the globe were buzzing with news of Wacom's new baby - the #Inkling. Everyone who currently draws digitally using the Wacom tablet, will be familiar with its advantages over the mouse, however, if the Inkling lives up to its anticipated hype, it will make creating digital drawings easier, more immediate and vitally speed up your workflow.
Ever find yourself wondering about a better alternative to your current network setup? Could there be a larger, faster and more predictable solution out there for your server / storage requirements? You are not alone in asking this question. This is fast becoming a major concern for many IT teams in the media and entertainment sector. That’s why we will be addressing this very topic at a special event being held in London on September 16th, 2011. Andy Bechtolsheim, a highly respected figure in the Information Technology industry is coming to London to share his expertise on this issue. Andy has been involved in the IT industry throughout his career. He has witnessed first-hand how computing infrastructures have scaled over the decades, and how network speeds have failed to keep up.
In a fast paced industry, where new technologies are being introduced more frequently, it can be difficult to stay on top of which products successfully aid efficiency and quality in our work. It’s great to know that some companies take an opportunity to show off their products and how they are being utilised in the industry. Last Thursday I made a special effort to attend an event for NUKE and MARI software. The torrential down pour that evening made venturing out difficult, so I was glad to see so many people were able to attend. Armed with umbrellas and rain coats well over one hundred of us braved the weather to enjoy an evening with NUKE and MARI, an event hosted by Escape Studios in collaboration with The Foundry and HP.
Giuseppe Candido is not only a recent character animation course escapee, but now also a very talented animator and a skilled Maya Generalist. He has put together one of the most charming demo reels we have seen here at Escape Studios. Giuseppe combined many of his student exercises into a circus project - creating a stunning short film in the process, and all completed from scratch in just six weeks.
Changing career is never easy. It takes lots of thought, and above all courage and commitment. But that's exactly what escapee Richard Sowerby did. He sudied multimedia at Cheltenham University and forged a very successful career as a systems/graphics analyst. It took him 7 years to pluck the courage to follow his dream of working in the VFX industry and start looking for courses in compositing. And boy, did his determination pay off!